I have a Facebook friend (in real life, they are an acquaintance) who feels very passionately – fanatical I might say- about a few topics. And I find the act of posting your controversial opinions on Facebook is very interesting.
For the most part, it is only acceptable for one side of the debate to respond – if someone tries to voice an alternate opinion they generally get lynch mobbed. This particular debate is on abortion – and this person is pro-life. I don’t know if I would ever have an abortion personally (well at this point in my life, I certainly won’t – but had I been faced with that choice earlier, I am not sure what I would have done) – but I have friends who have had them and I support their decision, which would make me a ‘pro-choice’ person.
This particular Facebook debater regular posts articles and opinions that are adamant and makes it clear that his words are fact, and other opinions are not acceptable. Things like: noone should ever hold the power of life and death over another, no matter the reasons, excuses or justifications. This statement, after the numerous other posts, makes want me want to chime in with mind opening queries, but I refrain – Facebook debates aren’t pretty.
So I did a status update – not tagged or directed anyone, but puzzling to those that might notice it.. something like “with that amount of conviction, you better be a vegetarian”. I smile inside – I am pretty sure the person it is directed at will never see it, but it gave me some inner satisfaction.
Then I find out this person is a not only not only not a vegetarian – but they hunt! And oppose gun control laws! I am exploding with counter-points and questions – hence this blog post :)
How can you feel so strongly about abortion, yet be ok killing an animal? How is it abhorrent to allow ‘weapons’, such as a Doctor who perform abortions, to exist in our society, but it is a ‘right’ that anyone, however unfit, be able to carry weapons which can kill instantly and indiscriminately?
I actually am dying to ask this person these questions. But since they are only an acquaintance, I don’t really know how they would respond – so I don’t feel comfortable. What would the conversation be like in real life? Is this person as opinionated in an actual conversation, or does social media bring out one side of their personality? Do they realize what kind of perception they are putting out there to the online world? Don’t they worry about offending or annoying friends or clients? If I was to put any counter-point on their Facebook timeline, I not only get their response – but all their friends responses as well. I saw it happen on this person’s particular timeline – someone questioned the train of thought and the results were not pretty.
I couldn’t bring myself to respond on Facebook (I actually had a response typed once and deleted it before posting) – but as a consummate debater and consensus builder, I had to put my opinion out there. So there it is. If you feel like diplomatically commenting, please do – but any extremist, offensive comments will be deleted :)